New Delhi:Pitch and conditions are hardly of any significance when Virender Sehwag is in form, said Delhi Daredevils captain Gautam Gambhir as he credited the win over Wayamba Elevens in a Champions League Twenty20 match here to the opener's explosive batting.
Sehwag returned to form in style, scoring a quick-fire 67 off 42 deliveries with the help of 10 fours and a six to set the platform for Daredevils' 50-run victory over the Sri Lankan side last night. The win took Daredevils to the league stage of the event.
Sehwag was ably supported by Dinesh Karthik at the middle with a breezy 61 off 41 balls. Gambhir lauded the duo's performance with Sehwag coming in for special praise from the skipper.
"It was a must win game for us and it was necessary for us to remain in the tournament. Getting 170 on the board on this track was superb. Viru and Karthik were simply outstanding with the bat," Gambhir said.
"The way Viru bats and gives a start to the team, it is always an advantage to have him in Daredevils team as well as the Indian team. If a player of his caliber bats for 15 overs, it sets the game for us," he said.
The newly-laid Kotla wicket has been keeping low, making batting difficult and Gambhir said his team had an edge in the encounter having already played a match on the strip.
"The good thing for us was that we played a match on this wicket, so we knew exactly what target to set. We thought 130 was good but getting to 170 was brilliant," Gambhir said.
"We thought having wickets in hand in the last five overs is always necessary on this kind of wicket," he added.
Daredevils bowlers too made an impression with Dirk Nannes (4/24) being the most destructive. Veteran Glenn McGrath (2/20), who returned to the field after an 18-month hiatus, showed no signs of rustiness.
Gambhir applauded his bowlers' contribution but special praise came for the 39-year-old Australian legend.
"Nannes, Ashish (Nehra) were brilliant up front but McGrath is a legend of the game. He is still bowling brilliantly and getting wickets," he said.
"We have got a very good team and if we play to our potential we can go a long way in the tournament," he said.
Meanwhile, Wayamba Elevens skipper Jehan Mubarak too praised Sehwag and said he was simply unstoppable.
"When someone plays an innings like this, it takes the game away and Sehwag took the game away from us.
"Our bowlers too were not consistent. They bowled well in patches. We did not bowl to our field and gave away too many boundary balls," Mubarak said.
"After a terrible start, we still managed 120. If we had bowled and batted little better, the result could have been different," he added.